Candles and Scents.
There’s nothing more inviting than the smell of delicious cookies, cakes or other tasty foods being prepared in the kitchen. Your nose can’t help but lead you to the source.
There are other smells in many homes that are inviting as well… those nice fragrances from scented candles. There are hundreds of scents available, from favorites such as vanilla, citrus, lavender, and more. Some scents smell just like cookies or cakes in the oven. Of course, you don’t get the benefit of eating them!
Yet, as inviting as those scents may be, there are some concerns you should consider as you burn them.
It’s been noted by various environmental groups and indoor air quality specialists that burning candles can produce pollutants such as acetone, toluene, benzene and others. It’s what is found in soot, considered a hazard all on its own.
More and more people — perhaps just like yourself — love the smell of these scented candles. Yet are they putting off smoke, even invisible smoke, that can be leaving an unhealthy residue in your home? It could be. Remember, soot is the product of material that didn’t totally go through the combustion process of burning. If the flame of your candle isn’t totally blue, no doubt there is soot being produced.
What can you do?
Choose your scents wisely. Opt for natural wax materials, such as beeswax or soy candles, both of which are better choices than wax made from petroleum products. Natural materials may cost more, but is a better, safer and healthier choice.
Make sure your wick is burning adequately. The wick should burn evening with the melting wax, and curl as it burns. Ensuring the wick is less than ½ inch long when you light it will help.
Keep your candles burning where there is limited or no draft. Air movement can cause the flame to burn erratically possibly create more soot or pollution.
Don’t burn your candles all the time. Make it a treat. Burn them when you are in the mood for a nice scent in the home.
And when you do have issues with your candles, such as a residue on surfaces in your home, call your restoration pro. They can help determine if your candle burning habits are safe!
Detergents, Soaps and More.
When it comes to your home, you usually have two prime, important goals in mind: Keep your home clean and keep your home healthy. Family is important to you.
To do that, it takes a lot of thought. Not about your cleaning technique… but about the products you choose to do the cleaning.
When you wander the cleaning supply aisle at your favorite department or big-box store, the options are endless. The list of ingredients is long and the descriptive words are confusing. While a scientist working in a laboratory knows what those ingredients are, it’s not your fault that they mystify you.
What do you really need to know? The basics. Here they are.
Detergent versus Soap
Most of the products you use are “detergents” — in that they are man-made or synthetic. They clean great, and usually don’t leave a sticky residue. Soap, on the other hand, is natural, clean great as well, yet can leave a sticky residue if not rinsed off completely. Choose either one, but keep in mind the residue issue. You don’t want to clean a surface and then have the sunlight shine on it and show you a white, sticky residue.
This weird word you might have heard of is the active cleaning agent. It stands for “surface active agent” and in layman’s terms it “makes water wetter.” Think of a waxed surface. The water beads up. Yet if you add a little dish detergent, which has surfactants, the water spreads out. Surfactants allow water to penetrate surfaces, which is how we clean.
pH can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. It is simply a measurement of alkalinity and acidity. Consider a lemon. It’s acidic. So is coffee, tea and most foods. Most of your cleaning products are going to be alkaline, the opposite of acidic. When you have an upset stomach, you reach for an antacid, because the alkalinity in the antacid will counteract the acid that is upsetting your stomach. Cleaning is like that, balancing pH, in addition to using surfactants so water can do its job.
But the bottom line when it comes to choosing products? Choose a reputable brand. One that has good consumer reviews. And when you really want to know what’s best for your home when it comes to cleaning… contact your favorite cleaning company. They have the intel.